Category Archives: family

Finding My Son’s Birth Mother

It was a day that I knew would come sooner or later.  When he was a young adult, I had given BJ his birth mother’s first and last name,  first names of his sisters and where he was born. It was enough for him to find his birth sisters via Facebook.  His sisters gave him phone numbers.  He called and talked to his grandmother first, then set up a date and time to talk with his birth mom.  His mom felt so blessed that she was finally able to talk with him and know that he alive and loved.

He found out that his birth family had been looking for him a long time.  They had heard of some adoption abuse cases and began to wonder if BJ had been adopted to that kind of home.  He assured them that this was not the case.  He had a good life, good family and was showered with love.

A year later we began to plan for a meeting of the two families.  Since I lived a little over two hours away from his birth family, BJ would fly from CA to OK and we would drive together to Texas.  His wife and son could not make this trip.  My partner, BJ and I would travel to Ft. Worth together.

When I talked to the grandmother about coming to visit, we had anticipated a small gathering:  the  grandmother, birth mother and her other children.  The grandmother got excited about the visit, and invited her sisters, close friends, other relatives, etc.  With PTSD, BJ was not comfortable in large groups.  The three of us were excited and apprehensive about the little gathering that had now become a larger gathering.

I was not sure what kind of reception my white partner and I might receive from this black crowd.  I know that transracial adoption was and is controversial.  There was no way to know if this black family would feel resentful or angry towards us.

When we arrived at the grandmother’s house, we were greeted warmly and graciously with hugs.  There were relatives of all ages who had come to see the returning  “baby who was now a man.”

The grandmother and I had agreed ahead of time that an hour and a half would be long enough for our first visit.  Thirty minutes into the visit, his birth mother had not yet arrived.  The grandmother called her daughter and with my limited hearing, I could tell that she was not happy.  Evidently, the mother was having second thoughts and was afraid for whatever reasons.

Another 15-20 minutes passed, and suddenly his birth mother burst into the apartment.  She looked anxiously around and then rushed to BJ.   I have never witnessed such an intense hug and display of motherly emotion.  She appeared to be grateful, relieved, sorrowful and joyful, all rolled into one.  I was overcome with tears as it was a sight to see.  I imagine that every adoptive mother would want their child to welcomed by his/her birth mother as mine was.

I was extremely grateful that BJ had experienced such a warm welcome and I am sure it helped him to resolve some questions.  The worry I carried over the years, about what kind of reception he would receive from his birth family,  melted away.

I had prepared two photo booklets for the grandmother and mother.  I tried to show a timeline of his life:  his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins,  major vacation trips, his hobbies, accomplishments, etc.  I think they were assured that he was well taken care of, had lots of opportunities, and obviously loved by our family.

His birth mother texted me several times to restate the blessing she received from our contact and visit with them.

Its another family story that is downright personal.

©2016   drp

See:  Mom, I want to find my birth mother  part 1
Searching  for his birth mother      part 2

 

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Things My Mother Taught Me

In honor of my mother, here are a few of  the things I learned from her.
1.  How to tie my shoes.
2.  How to sing.
3.  How to tell time.
4.  How to roller skate.
5.  How to build a tree house.
6.  How to fold clothes.
7.  How to clean the bathroom.
8.  How to play the piano.
9.  How to harvest wild rice.
10.  How to say no.
11.  How to operate a sewing machine.
12.  How to make popcorn balls.
13.  How to forgive.
14.  How to be an example.
15.  How to be a daughter.
16.  How to be honest.
17.  How to be understanding.
18.  How to be compassionate.
19.  How to be a loving spouse.
20.  How to pursue your dreams.
21.  How to be spiritual.
22.  How to stay married.
23.  How to show love to those who are important to you.
24.  How to grieve.
25.  How to grow old gracefully.

Thanks mom,  Happy Mother’ Day!
Drpers ©  2010

Searching For Birth Mother 2

Over a year ago, my son was interested in searching for his birth mother.  He decided not to do anything until our next visit in person, which was September of 2008.  I brought with me a letter that his birth mother had written to him when he was ten years old.  Now 24 years old, he had never seen or read it till that day.  

I was more emotional than he was.  He seemed to find it interesting but I really couldn’t read how he was feeling about it.   He just seemed very calm and thought it would be fun to meet his birth mother and sisters some day.  He wanted them to meet his wife and son and to know that he was successful and being a  responsible adult. 

During that visit,  I gave him paperwork to contact the DHS of that state and left it in his hands.  To my knowledge, he has not done anything yet.  He is busy with his career, being a husband, and now a daddy.  He has an 8 month old son at this writing.  I am a grandma!

I am sure there will be more to this story someday… but at the moment, there is no time for searching the past.  

more about finding his birth mother

dr pers

Mom, I want to find my birth mother…

Every adopted parent wonders if the time will come when your adopted child will want to search and/or find his/her birth mother and father.   My time has finally come.

My son announced in December that he and his wife are expecting.  Baby check ups have led to my son wondering more about his hereditary health issues.  A phone conversation with him this month, led to a discussion about his birth mother. 

I have known a few things about her.  She was 14 years old at the time, a big factor in her decision.  Her parents had just had twins, so they felt they couldn’t afford another child at the time.   When my son would occasionally ask about his birth mother when growing up, I tried to answer as honestly and positively as I could. 

In this conversation, I told him that I had some pictures of her and other children.  Through the adoption agency, she sent a letter and pictures.  He has two sisters and a fourth child was on its way in 1994.   He was 10 years old and I thought too young to be given these pictures. He is now 24 and finding out for the first time that I’ve had this info.

He indicated that he would like to pursue locating her.  I took a package of adoption records and info to the post office today, the pictures too.  I feel most sad that I am not able to be with him and share in those moments when he views those pictures.   He lives too far away and I will not see him till late August.  He thought he would have more time now to start the process before the baby arrives.  And so it goes.       

This is just another step in the journey.  I have mixed emotions of course, and will write more about that in another post.

© 2008 drpers

gays are worse threat to America than terrorism…

I am sorry to say I live in Oklahoma where State Representative Sally Kerns believes that “homosexuality is a bigger threat to America than terrorism or Islam.”  While the following letter to Rep. Kern is rather lengthy for a post, its definitely worth your time. It was written by an Oklahoma high school senior.

drpers

Rep Kern:

“On April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City a terrorist detonated a bomb that killed my mother and 167 others. 19 children died that day. Had I not had the chicken pox that day, the body count would’ve likely have included one more. Over 800 other Oklahomans were injured that day and many of those still suffer through their permanent wounds.

That terrorist was neither a homosexual or was he involved in Islam. He was an extremist Christian forcing his views through a body count. He held his beliefs and made those who didn’t live up to them pay with their lives.

As you were not a resident of Oklahoma on that day, it could be explained why you so carelessly chose words saying that the homosexual agenda is worse than terrorism. I can most certainly tell you through my own experience that is not true. I am sure there are many people in your voting district that laid a loved one to death after the terrorist attack on Oklahoma City. I kind of doubt you’ll find one of them that will agree with you.

I was five years old when my mother died. I remember what a beautiful, wise, and remarkable woman she was. I miss her. Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother’s killer was a better person than a group of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves.

As someone left motherless and victimized by terrorists, I say to you very clearly you are absolutely wrong.

You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly express a lack of love, sympathy or understanding for what they’ve been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?

I’ve spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen, however, many gay students beat up and there’s never a day in school that has went by when I haven’t heard the word **** slung at someone. I’ve been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?

Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They’ve already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them names. After all, you are a teacher and a lawmaker, many young people have taken your words to heart. That happens when you assume a role of responsibility in your community. I seriously think before this week ends that some kids here will be going home bruised and bloody because of what you said.

I wish you could’ve met my mom. Maybe she could’ve guided you in how a real Christian should be acting and speaking.

I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she won’t be there. So I’ll be packing my things and leaving Oklahoma to go to college elsewhere and one day be a writer and I have no intentions to ever return here. I have no doubt that people like you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more people again. I don’t want to be here for that. I just can’t go through that again.

You may just see me as a kid, but let me try to teach you something. The old saying is sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, your words hurt me. Your words disrespected the memory of my mom. Your words can cause others to pick up sticks and stones and hurt others.”

Sincerely

Tucker

 

Walk a mile in my shoes…

Ever wondered what it would be like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes? When I was a child, I enjoyed trying to walk in my father’s worn, leather work boots. Even with tightening the long, leather laces, it took great effort to keep my toes curled and at the same time, lift those heavy boots and walk. Sometimes I fell on my face and sometimes I fell on my bum, and sometimes I just stood tall.

Ever wondered what it would be like to walk in someone else’s shoes? Ever wondered what it would be like to be the only white person in a shopping mall?  Ever wondered what it would be like to be the only black child in town? Ever wondered what it would be like to watch a clerk come out from behind the counter to watch your African American son pick out his favorite pack of gum? Of course there are already several children in the isle doing the same thing but their color is pale. Ever wondered what it’s like to be the only one not understanding the conversation, the laughter, either because you can’t hear or because you speak another language? Ever wondered what it would be like to go to school in a wheelchair? Ever wondered what it would be like to be different enough, that every time you enter a small town restaurant everyone pauses to stare?

Frankly, I wouldn’t want to trade life shoes with anyone else, mine are difficult enough. I still fall on my face, bounce on my bum and struggle to regain my composure. It makes sense to make friends with our walking shoes, change what we can, accept what we cannot, and be kind to those whose walk is different. Those who manage this simple philosophy, can stand tall in whatever size boot he or she wears. Size 8 anybody?    © 2007

 

Influencing your child’s faith…

Sometimes parents will say that they don’t take their children to church because they don’t want to influence their child towards one particular religion. There is one big problem with this kind of thinking. No influence means no choice!

If it is really the parents’ desire to remain neutral, the parent would take the child to a variety of churches or religions so that the child is familiar with the differences. This says to the child that faith is important, and there are a variety of ways to believe as well as act on one’s faith. Adequate information and experience helps one to make an informed choice.

To not teach a child about faith in God, is truly not giving the child a choice. Parents who choose not to influence their children when they are still dependents, have not thought through the results of their rationale.

Most parents, teach their children how to take care of their physical needs: change their clothes, bathe, brush their teeth, comb their hair, eat a balanced meal. Have you ever heard a parent say, “I don’t want to influence my child in his/her grooming habits?”

Most parents encourage their child’s interests, whether it be artistic, music, athletic or scientific activities. Have you ever heard a parent say, “I don’t want to encourage my child in any particular activities, I think he or she should be able to choose music, art or athletics when they are older?”

Most parents encourage their child to do well in school, do their homework, get good grades. Have you ever heard a parent say, “I don’t want to influence my child in their learning ability? I want them to decide how smart they want to be when they grow up?”

When it comes to nurturing faith in God, nurturing moral and ethical decision making, why do so many parents retreat or run to the hills on this issue? Is it a backlash to the rigid fundamentalism we’ve all been exposed to? Is it because parents were not adequately prepared as children and they pass this inadequacy along to the next generation? Are parents simply not convinced that children have spiritual needs too?

If you are a parent or plan to be one soon, listen up! If you don’t influence your child from day one till the time they move out, everyone else will! Their friends, advertising, TV, music, teachers, coaches, did I say friends??? If you don’t nurture their spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional needs, everyone else will!!

There is no place for being neutral in this day and age! Your son or daughter is being bombarded with the values of others and our culture. You must be focused on nurturing basic life skills so that your child has the tools to make wise decisions and face life on his/her own. If you are going to retreat and leave that job to someone else, rest assured, someone will!!